Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2/1/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. plastic on the windows and freezing pipes...

William and I put plastic on the last window in the living room yesterday. It is cold out finally, so it couldn't be put off any longer. It got really cold on Thursday night. In the morning, all of the pipes were OK except for the one going to the tub. Only a small trickle of water would come out. The bathroom is built over a crawl space. There is a vent in the crawl space that leads outside. We have Styrofoam on the outside of the house in this vent to keep the cold air out of the crawl space. We take the Styrofoam out when the weather turns nice in the spring. If we didn't take it out, then there would be mold in the crawl space. We also have the door to the crawl space open to the basement and a screen over the opening. Then we have an infrared light in there all winter. The bulb in the light burned out Thursday night. In the morning the water barely came out of the pipe. I took the hair dryer to the basement and began blowing hot air into the crawl space. I am not saying that this is the correct way to thaw a pipe. I have heard of people who have done this and have had the pipe split which made a big mess and cost a lot of money to fix. This is just how I thaw a pipe. When it was time to leave, there was more water coming out of the faucet but it wasn't totally unblocked. Beth was home for the day. Her school had the day off. When the water pipe began to freeze up later, she went every ten to fifteen minutes and turned the water on. We can't leave it on because our tub only has an "on" and an "off", not a "slower" and a "faster" setting. She also took an electric heater to the basement and put it by the crawl space opening. She checked that a lot too to make sure that it wasn't overheating anything in the basement. The pipe didn't freeze. Beth did a great job handling this for us. We got a new light bulb and within an hour or two the pipe was unfrozen. We need to get a back-up light bulb.

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